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Credits and Major Projects

 

2003

 

1. TEXAS: THE STATE OF WATER

Winner Regional Emmy 2003
Producer/Director for Texas Parks& wildlife and KERA13, Dallas.

 

2.  Cameraman for numerous cable and network reality television series: Ambush Makeover (FOX), The Wedding Story & Perfect Proposal (TLC) and "Behind the scenes" for Miramax "Spykids 3D".

 

3.  Completed production for "Border Crossings: a Big Bend Experience" Producer/Director

 

2002

 

"The Forgotten Americans" and "Accordion Dreams", Director of Photography,

 

2000

 

"Handmade in Mexico", Producer/Director

 

Completed PBS Segments 1990-1996

The following is a partial list of segments I produced for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Television Series. As senior producer, I generated the concepts, researched and subsequently shot, edited and scripted all of these documentary shorts. The average length for each is approximately ten minutes and fit within the magazine format of the half hour program. They continue to be broadcast on PBS throughout Texas.

 

1. A NEW HOMETOWN

In 1975, when Saigon fell to the communists, thousands of Southeast Asians began fleeing to the U.S. Many of them resettled along the Gulf Coast of Texas and became shrimpers. At first there was resistance by the locals, but over time, the newcomers became part of these coastal communities. This segment looks at how one group of Vietnamese has adapted since arriving in the small fishing village of Palacios. WINNER: BRONZE HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 1995

 

2. GRASSLANDS ABOVE, DESERT BELOW

In West Texas, the region called the Trans Pecos is known for its plant diversity. Beginning in the wooded highlands of the Davis Mountains, through the grasslands of the Marathon Basin, down into the Chihuahuan Desert. The late Dr. Barton Warnock, a well-known Texas naturalist is our guide.

 

3. HOW WE PLAY

This segment highlights a group of disabled Texans who are very active in the outdoors. They pursue tennis, canoeing, karate and scuba diving. A company that specializes in programming on people with disabilities picked up this segment for national distribution. WINNER: 1993 BARBARA JORDAN MEDIA AWARD.

 

4. FOREST OF MEMORIES

East Texas was once covered with dense forest. Decades of logging have cut away most of the hardwoods, changing the landscape forever. People whose families have lived in these forests for generations now find themselves on the edge of an advancing urban sprawl. WINNER: 1994 REGIONAL EMMY

 

5. ISLAND IN THE CLOUDS

The new popularity of ecotourism is spreading rapidly. A biosphere reserve in Tamaulipas, Mexico, El Cielo, is facing a wave of such tourists. Park planners and scientists are seeking a balance between encouraging visitors while at the same time, protecting this delicate ecosystem.

 

6. THE PRIMEVAL PUZZLE

There is a general consensus among geologists that the earth is at least four and a half billion years old. Fragments of this inconceivably distant past dominate the surface of Big Bend Ranch State Park in west Texas. It is a place shaped by eons of geologic havoc--shifting continents, volcanoes, falting and erosion have all, at one time or another, played a role in the formation of this landscape. This segment highlights some of the outstanding geologic features of the park, including a trip down the Rio Grande with geologist Dr. Kevin Ubanzcyk of Sol Ross in Alpine.

 

7. RIGS TO REEFS

Throughout the Gulf of Mexico are hundreds of offshore petroleum platforms. By the year 2000, many of them will be obsolete. In an effort to enhance marine life, a "Rigs to Reefs" program has been initiated to turn these obsolete rigs into permanent marine habitat. Instead of being cut off and towed to shore, these structures are now toppled over and left in place forming a system of artificial reefs on the floor of the Gulf.

 

8. THE AGE OF AQUACULTURE

A growing percentage of the seafood that Americans consume is farm raised. The United States trails the rest of the world in the aqaculture industry. Only in the last few years has the U.S. begun to pursue this market. This segment looks at shrimp farming in South Texas and a redfish farm near Houston.

 

9. A TRIP THROUGH TIME

Within a narrow corridor along the Texas/Mexico border, between Laredo and Brownsville, exists a number of forgotten historic structures landmarks. They are in danger of disappearing due to neglect and, until recently, a lack of interest. Los Caminos del Rio Project has spent a number of years documenting and evaluating these sites and is now working to salvage them.

 

10. BENEATH THE SURFACE

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the richest bodies of water managed by the U.S. However, much remains to be known about this vast resource. Ongoing research is needed to help in the management of these waters for generations to come. This segment focuses on a group of marine biologists as they inspect a number of habitats in the Gulf--A sunken Liberty Ship, a toppled petroleum platform and Sebree Bank, off Port Mansfield.

 

11. BIRDS OF PARADISE LOST

Shot in and around McAllen Texas. This segment follows U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents as they attempt to stop the smuggling of parrots and other wildlife across the Texas/Mexico border.

 

12. INDIAN TRAILS / KINGS HIGHWAYS

As Texas was settled by the Spanish, a number of Indian trails evolved into well traveled roads. This system of roads came to be known by various names, including Camino Real and the Old San Antonio Road. There are remnants of these roads left today and pieces of them are still in use.

 

13. A RIVER FOR TOMORROW

Unlike many rivers in Texas, the San Marcos has remained somewhat free from the ravages of pollution, channelization and damming. A popular recreational river and home to the endangered Texas Wild Rice, the community is very active in preserving this natural treasure.

 

14. TEXAS SHRIMPERS

Faced with a shrinking catch and strict regulations, Texas shrimpers are finding it increasingly difficult every year to make a living. We board a boat out of Port Isabel and witness the routine of a Gulf shrimper.

 

15. FORGOTTEN BORDERLAND

Although the Texas /Mexico border has been in the news lately, there are vast areas along the Rio Grande that remain very much off the beaten path. This segment documents a trip that starts in El Paso and ends in Presidio. Much of the journey was on the rugged Mexican side of the border since there are no roads on the U.S. side.

 

16. THE HISTORIC LANDSCAPE

What did the Texas landscape look like a hundred years ago? We trace the path of the French naturalist, Jean Louis Berlandier who traveled through Texas and Mexico in the early 1800's. He kept a detailed journal and we are able to compare what he saw then with what we saw today.

 

17. A COMMON PATH

This segment highlights a number of Texans with different disabilities who enjoy sports and the outdoors. Their activities range from a simple stroll in the woods to wheelchair rugby, scuba diving and working with after school children. Although their disabilities are different they all share a need to get out and be active.

 

18. THE MISSIONS

Texas was settled by Spain beginning in the 18th century. These early settlers built a series of missions that were instrumental in establishing Christianity and a permanent foothold in this part of the world. The missions were ultimately abandoned but there still exist reminders of their existence. This segment explores the missions and their ongoing influence on Texas culture.

 

19. LION COUNTRY

Mountain lions are very secretive. Their elusive habits make them a very difficult animal to study in the wild. A few years ago, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department initiated a study of the mountain lion population in Big Bend Ranch State Natural Area. Wildlife biologists are now tracking the lions using modern as well as traditional methods.

 

20. THE BIG AQUARIUM

Although most obsolete petroleum platforms are toppled and turned into artificial reefs, there is an effort to salvage one, and turn it into a permanent research station. Over 100 miles from shore in the Gulf, High Island 389 sits in over 400 feet of blue water, a mile away from the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

 

21. GREEN REMEDIES

For centuries, people have been relying on medicinal plants to cure their illnesses. Today, this tradition is being carried on in many ways. Shot primarily in South Texas, this segment explores a number of methods of traditional healing being used by healers and everyday people.

 

22. KEEPERS OF THE PRAIRIE

Grasslands and native prairies, up until the mid 1800's, dominated a large section of the Texas landscape. These diverse and suprisingly ancient ecosystems have almost disappeared due to the introduction of the plow and grazing livestock. Today there is an effort to preserve the remaining patches of remnant prairies along with a number of projects to restore this habitat. This segment looks at some of the groups and individuals involved in this effort.

 

23. ON THE TIDES OF CHANGE

Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult to make a living as a Texas shrimper. Increased regulations, along with growing operating costs and competition for the resource, have all contributed to a decline in the industry profits. There are a number of families that continue to fight to stay afloat, and this segment focuses on one such family: The Cuevas’ in Port Isabel.

 

24. RIO GRANDE/RIO BRAVO: COMMON WATERS

This segment takes a look at the shape of the Rio Grande from Laredo to Boca Chica, where the river empties into the gulf. The condition of the river varies greatly, depending where you are. In Nuevo Laredo, a new wastewater treatment plant is being constructed. Closer to Brownsville, a stretch that used to be heavily wooded has been stripped of almost all vegetation. Although there are many stories in the media concerning the dangerous pollution levels in the river, it appears that in some areas, at least, the Rio Grande is still relatively healthy.

 

25. ROMA RISING

The small border town of Roma is the location for a group of unique historical buildings that combine architectural styles of the old and new worlds. Once a thriving inland port for steamboats coming up from Brownsville. Roma experienced an economic decline during the depression years from which it never recovered. Since then, these architectural treasures had fallen into severe disrepair. Now the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has joined with the Texas Historical Commission, the Conservation Fund and the town of Roma in an effort to restore these old structures.

 

26. SWIMMING HOLES

Central Texas has numerous "world class" swimming holes. This segment looks at a number of those natural pools lakes and streams, some of which remain pristine, while others are in danger of pollution by over development, including Barton Springs in Austin.

 

27. BIRDS OF A FEATHER

Every winter, thousands of retirees flee the cold north and head for Texas. Many of them end up staying in and around the Rio Grande Valley. For the most part they lead very active lives, bird watching, dancing and participating in numerous activities.

 
Major Production Credits 1978-1989

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES "The PEAKS Experience" (1989)

12-minute program to promote a summer camp for foster teens and their adult sponsors.
Curtis Craven, Director

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION "Getting to Know Your Heart" (1989)

12-minute program to promote the use of A.H.A.'s curriculum to fourth, fifth and sixth grade teachers.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEXAS MOTOR TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION "Proud to Deliver" (1989)

15-minute motivational program to improve audience opinion of the motor transportation industry in Texas.
Curtis Craven, Director

JOHN W. EDSON "Works In Progress: "Helmut Barnett" (1989)

Documentary videotape on local artist's life and work.
Curtis Craven, Director
WINNER: CINE Eagle
WINNER: IABC "BEST OF AUSTIN" 1989
WINNER: Houston International Film Festival

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

"All Children Should Dream (1988/89)
Four-tape series promoting special programs for foster teens.
Curtis Craven, Director

INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH "Radio in Liberia" (1989)

Post-production supervision for project documentary tape.
Curtis Craven, Post Supervisor

INST. FOR FINANCIAL CRIME PREVENTION

"Loan Fraud" & "Money Laundering" (1988)
Camera/DP services with Robert Stack as host/narrator.
Curtis Craven, Camera - D.P.

AMERICAN PHYSICIANS INSURANCE EXCHANGE (1988)

Member information program.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEXAS DEPARTMENT ON AGING "Options for Independent Living" (1988)

Documentary Program describing the effectiveness of Community based services for older Texans.
Curtis Craven, Director

MIDDLE RIO GRANDE DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL "Making the Team" (1988)

Orientation tape for potential JTPA clients.
Curtis Craven, Director

AUSTIN/TRAVIS COUNTY PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCIL (1988)

Documentary on high school dropout problem.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEXAS MEDICAL ASSOCIATION "Taking Charge of Change" (1988)

Informational program for TMA members.
Curtis Craven, Director

AMERICAN PHYSICIANS INSURANCE EXCHANGE (1988)

Promotional program for malpractice insurance company.
Curtis Craven, Director

GSD&M "Where We Stand" (1988)

Employee motivational tape for Gibralter-First Texas Savings.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS "They Came From Outer Space" (1987)

Educational program for Realtors.
Curtis Craven, Director

WINNER: Best of Austin, IABC LBJ SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS (1987)

Recruiting tape for LBJ School.
Curtis Craven, Director

NETFRAME (1987)

New product introduction for CYB Systems.
Curtis Craven, Director

THE WINNER IS TEXAS - 1987

Documentary on the 1987 Keep Texas Beautiful Winning Cities.
Curtis Craven, Director

NATIONAL ANNUITY PROGRAMS (1987)

Informational/Sales tape on tax-deferred annuities.
Curtis Craven, Director

ASSOCIATION OF RETARDED CITIZENS/TEXAS "Building Brighter Futures" (1987)

Documentary promoting "abilities - not DISabilities".
Curtis Craven/Director

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCILS (1987)

Training programs for PIC board members.
Curtis Craven, Director

BUCKLE UP BECAUSE (1986)

TEXAS PTA seat belt safety program for schools.
Curtis Craven, Director

SPEAKING OF BOOKS (1986)

Location production for Readers' Digest Cable TV program.
Curtis Craven, DP/Cameraman

THE WINNER IS TEXAS (1986)

Film documentary for Keep Texas Beautiful.
Curtis Craven, Director/Cameraman

WINNER: Honorable Mention, INTERCOM/Chicago UNITE (1986)

Promotional tape for CYB Systems new software product.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEACHER RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF TEXAS 1986)

50th Anniversary program about TRS member services.
Curtis Craven, Director

THE PROFITABLE DECISION FOR YOUR PRACTICE (1985)

New product promotional tape for American Express subsidiary.
Curtis Craven, Director

MUNCHAUSEN'S SYNDROME (1984)

Medical instruction for Texas A&M Medical School.
Curtis Craven, Director

TEXAS MANUFACTURED HOUSING ASSOCIATION (1984)

Two informational programs on manufacturing techniques.
Curtis Craven, Producer/Director

PALM HARBOR STORY (1984)

Sales promotion tape for potential homebuyers.
Curtis Craven, Producer/Director

THOMSON-McKINNON SECURITIES (1984)

Series of 14 two-minute "Infomercials".
Curtis Craven, Director

AGRIA TRACTORS (1984)

Sales promotion tape for agricultural equipment dealers.
Curtis Craven, Director

DEDICATION (1983)

Promotional program for throroughbred horse breeder in Maryland.
Curtis Craven, Producer/Director

USUMACINTA (1983)

Documentary 'storyboard' on unexcavated Mayan sight for National Geographic. Curtis Craven, Director

THE CHALLENGE (1982)

Promotional film for UT College of Communications.
Curtis Craven, Producer/Director
WINNER: CINE Golden Eagle

AUSTIN- A SPECIAL PLACE (1982)

Promotional tape marketing relocation services, Richie Properties.
Curtis Craven, Producer Director
WINNER: Best of Austin, IABC

SOTAVENTO (1981)

Promotional tape for agro-industrial cooperative in Veracruz, Mexico.
Curtis Craven/Director

BOATS & FISHERMEN (1980)

Documentary film shot off the coast of Veracruz, Mexico.
Curtis Craven, Producer/Director
WINNER: Regional Student Academy Award
WINNER: Edward Dymtryk Achievement Award

LOS VOLADORES: FLYERS OF EL TAJIN (1978)

Documentary film shot in Veracruz, Mexico.
Curtis Craven, Director/Camera